A Certificate of Origin (also known as a COO) is a document used in international trade. It is a printed form, completed by the exporter or its agent and notarized by a local Chamber of Commerce, which attests that the goods in a particular export shipment have been wholly produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. The "origin" does not refer to the country where the goods were shipped from but to the country where they were made.
Why do I need a Certificate of Origin?
The appropriate government agency responsible for monitoring and assessing duties on imported products in virtually all countries requires a COO to determine what duty or tariff, if any, should be assessed on the product or products being imported. The U.S. has trade agreements with many foreign countries, and under the terms of many of these agreements, American products receive lower tariff rates or are not subject to a tariff. The foreign customs office verifies whether a product qualifies for preferential duty rates based on the information on the Certificate of Origin that accompanies the documentation associated with the shipment. Also, some countries have banned certain products from countries that have been caught dumping. The COO helps prove that the product is allowed into that particular country.
Are there different types of Certificate of Origin forms?
- General Certificate of Origin: This form is used for almost all exports. There are several versions available because the government has updated the form on numerous occasions, but older versions are still valid. Also, a number of private vendors produce the forms and they each have slightly different formats. Click here to download the Hudson Chamber’s General COO template.
- NAFTA Certificate of Origin: This form is used only for products that are made in the U.S. and are being shipped into Mexico or Canada. The form must be included with the shipment or else the manufacturer will have to pay the tariffs and duties imposed on non-NAFTA countries. It can be used only for goods produced in the U.S. and not just passing through from another country. This form does not require a signature by a representative from a Chamber of Commerce. Click here to download a printable version of a NAFTA Certificate of Origin.
- Specific Country/Regional Certificate of Origin: There are specific country COO forms for Mexico, Israel, Japan, Australia, Chile, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and Central America (this list is not intended to be all-inclusive). Each form provides the information needed to validate preferential tariff treatment under the respective trade agreement between the respective country/region and
the U.S. A Chamber of Commerce is usually required to sign these forms. We advise our Members to please research whether a specific country COO is required in lieu of a general COO. These forms are likely available for purchase from a number of private vendors.
How do I get a Certificate of Origin signed by the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce?
Companies requesting COO’s must submit a formal letter to us listing company representatives who are authorized to request COOs on behalf of their company. The letter must be printed on company letterhead and signed by a senior level corporate representative and must include a State ID or Driver’s License number for each individual listed.
The Hudson Chamber must have this letter on file before we will sign a COO and it must be renewed annually. Click here to download a copy of this letter. Once completed, please mail the original letter to our office at the address below.
Once an indemnification letter is on file with us, the Chamber can sign a Certificate of Origin for products manufactured and legally sold in the U.S. if the following requirements are met:
- Fill out the appropriate Certificate(s) of Origin for the country or countries to which you are exporting.
- Make sure you fill out the Certificate completely and accurately.
- Make sure that the product information listed is verbatim to what is on the invoice. Be sure to include product numbers, quantities, or descriptions.
- Do not alter the Certificate in any way.
- Have the Certificate notarized before requesting the Hudson Chamber sign it.
- Do not wait until the day of your shipment to bring in your Certificate.
- This service is provided at no charge to Chamber Members. The cost for non-members is $40 per embossed seal per form and we must have the original document.
- Pre-payment is required. You may pay by check (payable to Hudson County Chamber of Commerce) or pay by credit card: AMEX, Visa, MasterCard or Discover.
- You may bring the Certificate of Origin to our office (please call ahead to schedule a time), or you may mail it to us:
Hudson County Chamber of Commerce
857 Bergen Avenue, 3rd Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Attn: Corporate Secretary
- Please allow 5 to 7 business days for certificates to be processed and returned by mail. Once all of the above has been submitted, the Certificate of Origin is often returned the same day it is received.